Aerial Direct and O2 invest in customer experience

Looking in the mirror could be transformational – A secret shopping story.

Aerial Direct, the largest direct business partner of O2 Business in the UK, has recently undergone Alinea Partners’ Customer Experience Assessment for the third time.

The process, which involves a highly specialised professional secretly assessing every aspect of the company’s buyer experience, has been a source of competitive gain for Aerial Direct. The leading telecommunications provider, with over 10,000 5* Trustpilot review, as an indication of high levels of customer satisfaction, is committed to customer experience development, with their slogan “every conversation matters.” Working closely with their partners at O2 Business, Aerial Direct aims to provide the best service possible to their valued customers.

Winners at the Mobile News Awards 2023

Aerial Direct wins gold at The Mobile News Awards 2023

Aerial Direct has won the Best B2B Reseller award at the Mobile News Awards 2023, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our people who strive to provide our customers with the best possible service.

At Aerial Direct, we believe that every conversation matters, and we work hard to ensure that our customers receive the highest level of service. This award is a recognition of our commitment to our customers and our drive to continuously improve their experience.

Our people are the backbone of our success, and this award is a testament to their talent, skills, and dedication. We are proud of the strides we have made in recent years, including the development of our innovative Hive Intranet platform, improvements in our customer experience, and expansion of our customer base.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their hard work and commitment to our mission. Without them, we would not have been able to achieve this great honour. We also want to thank our customers for their trust in us and for giving us the opportunity to partner with them.

As we continue to grow and expand, we remain committed to providing our customers with the value propositions that will help them achieve their goals. Every conversation matters, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that our customers receive the highest level of service.

In conclusion, we are honoured to be recognised as a leader in the mobile industry and are committed to continuing our success. Thank you again to our employees and customers for your support, and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.

We are incredibly proud to take the winner’s trophy for Best Mobile Solution and Service Provider at this years’ Mobile Industry Awards 2022.

Winners at the Mobile Industry Awards 2022

Over the last year we have continued to be recognised within the industry, being awarded the O2 Network Customer Excellence Award for 2022 and 2021, the Mobile Industry Awards Best Mobile Service & Solution Provider 2021 and now this award!

Winning Best Mobile Solution and Service Provider is a huge achievement and one we are very proud of. We are delighted to be recognised in front of our industry colleagues for the amazing service we deliver to our customers. Most importantly, it recognises the achievements of our individuals and teams that are responsible for making our business truly great.

Recognition in the industry awards plays an important role in our business growth aspirations, helping us to demonstrate to our customers how we stand out from the competition.

Winners at the Mobile Industry Awards 2022 - Aerial Direct

Chief Operating Officer, Jason Phillips, who represented Aerial Direct last night commented:

“I am immensely proud of the people who have helped us shape our business and see the success of our business transformation recognised within our industry. Aerial Direct continues to focus on significant growth ambitions which require an enormous amount of effort in planning, delivery and teamwork along the way. I want to take this opportunity to recognise the hard work, dedication and loyalty from everyone involved for helping us on our journey to drive our future success, thank you”.

To add to this year’s achievement, it is a special moment for us to be part of a larger celebration; this year we join Mobile Industry Awards in celebrating their 20th anniversary, a successful journey of representing and recognising the highest standard in the industry. Congratulations once again on 20 years of excellence.

Below was us celebrating in 2021 after winning our first ‘Best Mobile Service & Solutions Provider’ award!

Winners at the Mobile Industry Awards 2022

Visit Mobile Industry Awards website to find out more about this year’s winners.

Meet the winners

Aerial Direct shortlisted for The Mobile Industry Awards 2022.

We are extremely proud and excited to announce that we are finalists for three categories at the 2022 Mobile Industry Awards: ‘Mobile Service and Solution Provider’, ‘Partner of the Year’ and ‘Best Place to Work’.

Over the past year, we’ve been working hard to expand and strengthen the business as well as make positive changes to create a safe environment for everyone to work together. We’ve built more valuable partnerships, developed our campaigns, services and experience for our customers and created a platform to engage with our employees while taking in their feedback and improving the company culture.

MIA Finalist Logo
MIA Finalist Logo
MIA Finalist Logo

Last year we took home the award for ‘Best Mobile Service and Solutions Provider’, which we are very proud of. This encourages us to do better each day, to maintain the standards of our award-winning customer service yet enhance the touch points in order to give them the best customer experience.

This was us celebrating in 2021 after winning the ‘Best Mobile Service & Solutions Provider’ award!

Finalists at the Mobile Industry Awards 2022

To be shortlisted for the three categories is a testament to the efforts and hard work that our employees put in. We are very thankful to them, as well as our partners and lovely customers for their ongoing trust with Aerial Direct. They all are the reason why we have achieved the success we have today.

Jason Phillips, our Chief Operating Officer says; “We have all been working extremely hard to achieve recognition from this year’s judging panel and we are very proud that we’ve been shortlisted for three categories. I want to say a big thank you to all of our employees, partners and customers we wouldn’t be here without you.”

We would also like to congratulate all the finalists for this year and wish them all good luck at the event.

See the full shortlist here.

Left unchecked, mobile technology can be a threat to business security. Employees in virtually every organisation, regardless of size, are increasing their use of smartphones as standard working practice. According to Forbes, 60 percent of workers in 2019 use a smartphone for work purposes while 31 percent desire one. Additionally, the popularity of BYOD (bring your own device) has steadily increased, ensuring cost savings for organisations, flexible working for staff and to bolster motivation and productivity.

Such demands often put IT departments in tough situations, leaving them scrambling to create and update mobile policies, as new devices and applications hit the market. As a result, there’s increasing concern around malware and other security issues. It is critically important that businesses realise they are potential targets for malicious acts. Mobility and the internet may have brought us closer together – but unfortunately it means we are also closer to hackers from all over the world.

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Android Security

At the beginning of 2019, 72 percent of devices used in business run Google’s Android operating system. This number is expected to rise, with 60 percent of device buyers saying Android is being integrated into their organisations. Over the past decade, the core device-level security on smartphones and tablets has improved significantly. However, it is important that businesses recognise that not all Android mobile devices are equal. They should look closely at the management and security functionality being offered by the manufacturer. Simply put, some manufacturers are better at making sure Android’s built-in security features work correctly. A good example is Samsung.

Samsung Knox is a leading mobile security platform that provides a secure environment for corporate data and apps on all Galaxy devices. It protects business and personal privacy from one device with no need for third party IT protection. Essentially, it’s the free security technology which comes pre-installed in the hardware of Samsung’s latest devices. Knox was first commercially available on the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2014. Now it’s expanding to Samsung’s consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The ‘Secured by Knox’ emblem seen when turning on a Samsung Galaxy means the cutting-edge Knox technology is embedded into the device.

Samsung Knox

How does Samsung Knox work?

Data on Knox devices is securely encrypted by default, using a government-certified encryption module. In the event of device theft or loss, anyone who picks up the phone won’t be able proceed past the device lock. It is designed to block any attempts at tampering. This ensures “work” phones come with the same functionality as the latest “personal” smartphones – without compromising security. Knox is more than just a virus scanner or malware detector – or even a security feature. Knox is a security layer which isolates personal and business data, allowing the user a personal device and a business device all on the same hardware.

Society and enterprise is in the early stages of a massive transformative shift in the mobile industry, led by the deployment of 5G at scale, which in turn will enable the accelerated propagation of Enterprise IoT. Knox is evolving to address the privacy needs and security management concerns of business customers in the new 5G-enabled, AI-driven world. Trusted by governments worldwide, Samsung Knox builds easy-to-manage, customisable, defence-grade security into business smartphones and tablets. With real-time monitoring and protection tools, it is virtually impossible for any unauthorised person to access business data.

Knox protection with Aerial Direct

A survey conducted by data security pioneer Varonis, predicts that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds in 2019. It’s never been more important to keep your company data secure. At Aerial Direct, our Samsung devices can be supplied with Knox ensuring your phone is protected from hacks, scams and cyber-criminals. Never worry about your data falling into the wrong hands.

Where it all began

Today, it’s hard to imagine a world without the internet at our fingertips. Mobile phones began with 1G – the first generation of wireless cellular technology. 1G is analog technology and phones using it had poor voice quality, little security, and were prone to dropped calls – not ideal when conducting business deals. The leap from 1G to 2G introduced call and text encryption, along with data services such as SMS, picture messages, and MMS.

Along came 3G

3G – the third generation mobile network – revolutionised the connectivity and capabilities of mobile phones. Mobiles were no longer just about calls and texts. The internet was in the palm of your hand; SATNAV directions popped up at the touch of a button; browsing social media was suddenly available to you any time, any place, and you were able to share files and video call with colleagues. Due to mobile internet, the way businesses operate changed forever.

Then there was 4G

Everything was transformed again with the rollout of 4G. The fourth generation network was five times faster than the 3G network. 4G was an exceptional technological advancement. Ofcom states that it takes less than a second for a basic web page to load on a smartphone using a 4G mobile connection (0.78 seconds on average across all networks). This compares to 1.06 seconds on average across all networks using a 3G mobile connection. But we still demanded further evolution in technology to allow more traffic, faster and more efficient flow, as well as greater reliably.

The hotly anticipated fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity will transform it all again. Industry experts predict that 5G will offer speeds 20 times faster than existing connections. It will change not just how we use our mobiles, but how we connect our devices to the internet. According to a study from Qualcomm, by 2035, 5G could underpin up to £9.3 trillion worth of goods and services in industries such as retail, healthcare, education, transportation, entertainment and more.


What does 5G mean for Aerial Direct?

5G will not replace 4G. It is going to add to it, providing the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data at great speed and lower latency (the measure of the tiny delay that occurs when data gets sent or is received by a device). The faster network will power the huge growth in Internet of Things technology – where smart devices talk to each other via internet connection.

How will 5G benefit Aerial Direct? The key selling point is that 5G will provide faster connectivity than anything ever seen before. This will bring new opportunities for organisations upgrading to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), internet speeds and bandwidth no longer a constraint. With 4G, a fixed amount of bandwidth is assigned in each direction by the network provider – regardless of the volume of data traffic being handled. Whereas 5G is adjustable – if there is congestion in one direction, a different bandwidth can be utilised from the other direction.

As VoIP is real time communication, latency is as important as speed. A 5G connection is expected to deliver a latency as low as one millisecond, which is 40-60 times faster than a 4G network. This is a crucial asset to VoIP systems.

O2 5G

Aerial Direct’s direct business partner, O2 announced the launch of its 5G mobile network in October 2019, going live in 20 towns and cities this year and a total of 50 by Summer 2020. The announcement comes the day after O2 announced its agreement with Vodafone to share 5G active equipment, such as radio antennas, on joint network sites across the UK. This means more people will get 5G mobile connection sooner. Network sharing reaps the benefits of 5G at the same time as reducing the impact on the environment.

Gary Strickland-Smith, Operations Director at Aerial Direct said, “We are highly excited about the roll out of 5G and what it poses for the future development of both our mobile and hosted product offerings. 5G’s increased speeds and improved latency will enable us to deliver an even better service to our customers as we continue to place them at the heart of everything we do.”

Preparing for 5G

You won’t be able to pick up 5G on existing mobile devices – the technology requires a specific set of antennae. Organisations may choose to become early adopters of the first 5G devices. Samsung revealed its first 5G handsets in June. Others may choose to wait for further 5G-enabled technology to become available. Apple, for example, has not yet revealed plans for 5G devices.

5G is going to transform how organisations operate, communicate and work by connecting not only smartphones but also vehicles, factories, offices and even cities. There is still a period of time before businesses will start to benefit from 5G. There won’t be a sudden swap over moment when 5G networks are ‘switched on’. Like everything else in technology, an evolutionary process and mass market adoption will be a slow burn. It is generally accepted that the tide will have fully turned by around 2022. Science fiction becomes science fact.

Aerial Direct announces the acquisition of IPCortex

ipcortex logo

Press release, Fareham, Hampshire, March 25th, 2019: Aerial Direct, today announces the acquisition of communications software developer, IPCortex, to enhance its opportunities and offering in the unified communication market. Aerial Direct has acquired all IPCortex assets, personnel, and customer contracts, and the business will now operate under the Aerial Direct Group. Aerial Direct’s Glyn Thomas will join IPCortex as Managing Director, but there will be no other operational changes at this time. The terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed.

Under Aerial Direct, IPCortex will continue its channel-only route to market and existing partners will continue to benefit from being able to offer customers truly differentiated, feature-rich communications solutions, be that hosted, on-premise or virtual. Furthermore, Aerial Direct has the ability to execute on IPCortex’s ambitious growth plans by offering greater commercial resource, scale and an increased focus on expediting the development of features that are important to resellers, especially as they support customers shifting to cloud-based environments. The acquisition assures a long term future for the platform, which currently has more than 80,000 business users across a range of high profile clients. 

“Aerial Direct offers a very exciting opportunity for IPCortex to accelerate the next stage of our growth for the business, strengthening and expanding its proposition in the market,” explains Rob Pickering, founder and CEO of IPCortex. “The acquisition supports our strategy to further invest in IPCortex commercial infrastructure to meet the future requirements of both our reseller partners and the wider unified communications market.”

Glyn Thomas, incoming Managing Director at IPCortex, says; “The journey so far for IPCortex has been a considerable one. Rob and the team have created an exciting product with a truly flexible suite of deployment options, easy migration paths and built-in security and resilience. This is a fantastic product, with an already rich and robust feature set, poised for accelerated enhancements.”

David Kilby, founder and CEO of Aerial Direct, comments; “Aerial Direct’s acquisition of IPCortex is a major growth opportunity for both businesses allowing us to expand our service offerings further. It also means we are in a stronger position to support organisations through their digital transformation journey as they look to implement truly unified communication and collaboration solutions and drive efficiencies.” 

IPCortex is a British software developer whose real time communication and collaboration solutions help companies of all sizes to deliver extraordinary customer service and to maximise the value of working together. Founded in 2002, its award-winning solutions are used by household-name companies in a wide variety of industries.

The definitive agreement between Aerial Direct and IPCortex was completed on March 14th 2019 with the operations currently being reviewed and integrated within the Aerial Direct Group. 

Technology is evolving faster than ever.

We’re all playing a part in an exciting time for technology. Whether you’re a consumer, business user, creator or innovator, manufacturer or distributer; we’re all walking the path to the fourth revolution, together.

Global Connection

Technology has come a long way in the last ten years. We control our devices with our voices, track our exercise with our watches, and make our homes more efficient from our Smartphones. However, we want more from technology.

The Internet of things (IoT) changes our expectations of technology. It provides us with services as we demand them. Businesses need to adapt to keep up with these demands and leverage the available technology. Uber has become a successful taxi service without owning a car and Just Eat delivers takeaways without owning a restaurant.

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Spotify logo
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In business, we’re able to make decisions quickly. The way we work and communicate has changed. Technology allows us to work more flexibly so we can choose where and when we want to work.

We can instantly message colleagues and customers, giving us another way to build relationships. We can video conference at the click of a button, or just by dialling one number.

We’re using Artificial Intelligence to help us understand our business and how our customers use our services. Access to big data allows us to intelligently target our audience and learn from everything we do, to improve our services and deliver exactly what our customers want.

As consumers, we’re continuously looking for the next step in technology and businesses need to work smarter and faster, so they don’t fall behind. The Digital Revolution is fast approaching, and the battle for digital supremacy continues.

A day to remember

We celebrated the launch of our new HQ in Fareham yesterday with a selection of our customers and partners, and it’s safe to say, we had a fantastic day.

The aroma of pizza filled the air and the prosecco was flowing while we all engaged in great conversation. Everyone was buzzing!

We were joined by O2, including Jason Phillips, Head of Business Partners and Ant Morse, Director of Digital – SMB. Both hit the stage and we particularly enjoyed hearing about the upcoming digital revolution from Ant.

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Samsung bought their interactive photo wall as well as two of their awesome VR bicycles which provided great entertainment! If you haven’t already seen it, head over to Facebook or Instagram to see our Operations Director, Gary Strickland-Smith, giving it his all.

Samsung interactive photo wall

Another entertainment highlight was the GT Simulator in our Demonstration Suite which drew great crowds of support. Keep an eye on our social channels as we’ll be announcing the winner next week.

Colin Philips, Illusionist and member of the Magic Circle, had all our jaws dropping with his fantastic magic. We’ll be sharing videos of our reactions on our social channels soon, so keep checking in.

It’s safe to say, it was a brilliant day and fun was had by all. Thank you to our customers, suppliers and partners who celebrated with us, we hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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